Professionalization and deepening of the practice – 34 projects selected

By means of this extra open call, the Fund aims to provide an impulse for the deepening of the practice and professionalization of designers and design studios within the fields of design, architecture and digital culture, now that many practices are being hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. A reflection on the selection.

12 January 2022

general impression
The designers and agencies submitting applications present an extremely diverse picture: ranging from relative starters to mid-career and established applicants. Like the previous open call that focused on professionalization of the design practice, this most recent call was issued in Covid times. As a result, not only starting designers are facing new challenges, but established agencies are suddenly seeing an entirely different playing field. Through prolonged reflection, established agencies primarily seem to see the need to future-proof their practice by learning new skills and, in doing so, to make a divergent move. Starting designers, on the other hand, express a desire to make a more convergent move by delineating and concretizing their vision and practice more. This interesting mix is reflected in the final selection.

The following 34 applications have been selected:

Fabio de Frel

The applications were assessed by Leonieke Verhoog (Public Spaces), Simon de Ruijter (RVO) and Sue-an van der Zijpp (Museum Boijmans van Beuningen). They were evaluated against the following criteria:

- The artistic quality of the portfolio;
- The sharpness of the reflection on the development of their own practice until now and how this step can add value for a more future-proof practice;
- The quality of the action plan in relation to the intended result and dealing with the COVID-19 reality;
- The quality of the contribution of the partners/advisers involved.

From the 44 proposals submitted, 34 proposals were selected, bringing the percentage of applications being awarded grants to 77%. The selected projects are distributed over the disciplines as follows: design 18, digital culture 5, architecture 7 and interdisciplinary 4. This Open Call for Professionalization and deepening of the practice was able to be issued due to the additional funds made available by the Minister. The budget available was € 250,000. The maximum contribution per project was € 7,500.

Picture above: Siba Sahabi